Bats in Moonlight

Maker(s)
Artist: Utagawa Hiroshige ζ­Œε·εΊƒι‡ (1797-1858)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, ca. mid 1830s
Medium
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 26.4 x 12.5 cm (10 3/8 x 4 15/16 in)
Geography
Japan
Credit Line
The Anne van Biema Collection
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2004.3.221
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Print
Type

Woodblock print

Keywords
Anne van Biema collection, bat, Edo period (1615 - 1868), haiku, Japan, moon, poems, ukiyo-e, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Like Hokusai, Hiroshige produced a large number of striking prints of natural subjects, including animals. Here bats, auspicious symbols in China and Japan, are rendered in black ink in a simple composition that creates a striking, abstract design. Color is restricted to black, gray, and blue, and a quarter circle of unprinted paper represents the full moon. To the lower right, pilings on an embankment are rendered as wide brushstrokes of black ink. The replication of brushstrokes without outline is a striking feature of this print, which also has a seventeen-syllable haiku (hokku) inscribed in cursive calligraphy:



Bats


living in darkness,
the color of their wings.

Published References
  • Ann Yonemura, et al. Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints from the Anne van Biema Collection. Seattle and Washington. cat. 131, pp. 316-317.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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